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Sheffield Crown Court heard how Ioyd George Morrison, 45, had run an illegal loan sharking business for over twenty years.
At a previous court hearing he pleaded guilty to illegal money lending, acquiring criminal property and concealing criminal property.
He reportedly had “dozens” of customers, according to regional newspaper, The Yorkshire Post, with one woman revealing how she borrowed £400 and was then forced to pay back £5,000 after just a matter of months.
Another victim borrowed £200 and was made to repay £2,000.
Morrison was investigated and prosecuted by the Yorkshire and Humber trading standards illegal money lending tam (IMLT), on behalf of Sheffield Council after a number of victims came forward about the intimidation and threats they had received.
During a search of the loan shark’s home, the IMLT found a truncheon and a knuckleduster, as well as a balaclava and body armour in his car. A notebook containing names and amounts owed to him was also found – dating from the beginning of 1988.
Judge John Swanson praised the bravery of the loan shark’s victims in coming forward, saying: “[Morrison] caused fear and misery over a long period of time.”
Philip Glaves, Sheffield Council's trading standards manager, added: “This investigation highlights yet again how illegal money lenders prey on the vulnerable within our communities, with victims lured into desperate situations caused by extortionate interest rates, spiralling debt, and the very real threat of violence and intimidation.”
Source: Debt Management Today